It is but just to say that the provisions of a wise Parliament have not been unattended with proper results. The necessity for punishment as the consequence of crime, can neither be doubted nor denied. Without it the bonds of society must be broken—government in no form could be upheld. If, then, example be the object of punishment, and peace and good order, nay, the binding together of the community, be its effects, how useful must be a work, whose intention is to hold out that example which must be presumed to be the foundation of a well-ordered society.
The cases will be found to be arranged chronologically, which, it is presumed, will afford the most satisfactory and the most easy mode of reference. This advantage is, however, increased by the addition of copious indices. T HE case of this criminal, who was executed in the year , for the barbarous murder of his two pupils, the children of a gentleman named Gordon, an eminent merchant, and a baillie, or alderman of the City of Edinburgh, is the first on our record; and, certainly, for its atrocity, deserves to be placed at the head of the list of offences which follows its melancholy recital.
From the title of the offender, it will be seen that he was a preacher of the word of God; and that a person in his situation in life should suffer so ignominious an end for such a crime, is indeed extraordinary; but how much more horrible is the fact which is related to us, that on the scaffold, when all hope of life and of repentance was past, he expressed his disbelief in that God whom it was his profession to uphold, and whose omnipotence it had been his duty to teach! The malefactor, it would appear, was born of most respectable parents, his father being a rich farmer in the county of Fife, and at an early age he was sent to the University of St.
His success in the pursuit of classical knowledge soon enabled him to take the degree of Master of Arts, and his subsequent study of divinity was attended with as favourable results. Upon his quitting college, in accordance with the practice of the time he entered the service of Mr. Gordon in the capacity of chaplain, in which situation it became his duty to instruct the sons of his employer, children respectively of the ages of eight and ten years. The family consisted of Mr.
Gordon, the two boys, their sister a girl younger than themselves , Mr. Hunter, a young woman who attended upon Mrs. Gordon, and the usual menial servants. The accidental discovery of this intrigue by the three children, was the ultimate cause of the deliberate murder of two of them by their tutor. The young woman and Hunter had retired to the apartment of the latter, but, having omitted to fasten the door, the children entered and saw enough to excite surprise in their young minds.
From this moment, however, an inveterate hatred for the children arose in his breast, and he determined to satisfy his revenge upon them by murdering them all. Chance for some time marred his plans, but he was at length enabled to put them into execution as regarded the two boys.
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It appears that he was in the habit of taking them to walk in the fields before dinner, and the girl on such occasions usually accompanied them, but at the time at which the murder of her brothers was perpetrated she was prevented from going with them. They were at the country-seat of Mr. Gordon, situated at a short distance only from Edinburgh, and an invitation having been received for the whole family to dine in that city, Mrs. Gordon desired that all the children might accompany her and her husband. The latter, however, opposed the execution of this plan, and the little girl only was permitted to go with her parents.
The intention of the murderer to destroy all the children was by this means frustrated; but he still persevered in his bloody purpose with regard to the sons of his benefactor, whom he determined to murder while they were yet in his power. Proceeding with them in their customary walks, they all sat down together to rest; but the boys soon quitted their tutor to catch butterflies, and to gather the wild flowers which grew in abundance around them.
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Their murderer was at that moment engaged in preparing the weapon for their slaughter, and presently calling them to him, he reprimanded them for disclosing to their parents the particulars of the scene which they had witnessed, and declared his intention to put them to death. Terrified by this threat, they ran from him; but he pursued and overtook them, and then throwing one of them on the ground and placing his knee on his chest, he soon despatched his brother by cutting his throat with a penknife.
This first victim disposed of, he speedily completed his fell purpose, with regard to the child whose person he had already secured. The deed, it will be observed, was perpetrated in open day; and it would have been remarkable, indeed, if, within half a mile of the chief city of Scotland, there had been no human eye to see so horrible an act. A gentleman who was walking on the Castle Hill had a tolerable view of what passed, and immediately ran to the spot where the deceased children were lying; giving the alarm as he went along, in order that the murderer might be secured.
The latter, having accomplished his object, proceeded towards the river to drown himself, but was prevented from fulfilling his intention; and having been seized, he was soon placed in safe custody, intelligence of the frightful event being meanwhile conveyed to the parents of the unhappy children.
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The frightful nature of the case rendered it scarcely uncharitable to pursue a law so vigorous according to its letter, and a jury having been accordingly impanelled, the prisoner was brought to trial, and pleaded guilty, adding the horrible announcement of his regret that Miss Gordon had escaped from his revenge.
The sentence, barbarous as it may now appear, was carried into full execution on the 22nd of August, ; and frightful to relate, he, who in life had professed to be a teacher of the Gospel, on his scaffold declared himself to be an Atheist. Gordon, removed to the outskirts of the village of Broughton, near Edinburgh. T HE case of this criminal is worthy of some attention, from the very remarkable circumstances by which it was attended.
The subject of this sketch was born in , at the seat of his father, Lord Burley, near Kinross; and having studied successively at Orwell, near the place of his birth, and at St. Andrews, so successfully as to obtain considerable credit, he returned home, being intended by his father to join the army of the Duke of Marlborough, then in Flanders. Here he became enamoured of Miss Robertson, the governess of his sisters, however; and in order to break off the connexion he was sent to make the tour through France and Italy, the young lady being dismissed from the house of her patron.
Balfour, before his quitting Scotland, declared his intention, if ever the young lady should marry, to murder her husband; but deeming this to be merely an empty threat, she was, during his absence, united to a Mr. Syme, with whom she went to live at Inverkeithing.
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Syme, on seeing him, remembering his expressed determination, screamed with affright; but her husband, unconscious of offence, advanced to her aid, and in the interim, Balfour entering the room, shot him through the heart. The offender escaped, but was soon afterwards apprehended near Edinburgh; and being tried, was convicted and sentenced to be beheaded by the maiden  , on account of the nobility of his family.
The subsequent escape of the criminal from an ignominious end is not the least remarkable part of his case. The scaffold was actually erected for the purpose of his execution; but on the day before it was to take place his sister went to visit him, and, being very like him in face and stature, they changed clothes, and he escaped from prison.
His friends having provided horses for him, he proceeded to a distant village, where he lay concealed until an opportunity was eventually offered him of quitting the kingdom. His father died in the reign of Queen Anne, but he had first obtained a pardon for his son, who succeeded to the title and honours of the family, and died in the year , sincerely penitent for his crime. His ruling passion was avarice, although he was not destitute of that courage which became necessary in the profession in which he eventually embarked. His frequent remarks upon the subject of piracy, and the facility with which it might be checked, having attracted the attention of some considerable planters, who had recently suffered from the depredations of the marauders who infested the seas of the West Indies, obtained for him a name which eventually proved of great service to him.
The constant and daring interruptions offered to trading ships, encouraged as they were by the inhabitants of North America, who were not loath to profit by the irregularities of the pirates, having attracted the attention of the Government, the Earl of Bellamont, an Irish nobleman of distinguished character and abilities, was sent out to take charge of the government of New England and New York, with special instructions upon the subject of these marine depredators.
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Colonel Livingston, a gentleman of property and consideration, was consulted upon the subject by the governor; and Kidd, who was then possessed of a sloop of his own, was recommended as a fit person to be employed against the pirates. The suggestion met the approbation of Lord Bellamont; but the unsettled state of public affairs rendered the further intervention of Government impossible; and a private company, consisting of the Duke of Shrewsbury, the Lord Chancellor Somers, the Earls of Romney and Oxford, Colonel Livingston, and other persons of rank, agreed to raise l.
Kidd, who was to have charge of the expedition, should receive one-fifth of the profits. A commission was then prepared for Kidd, directing him to seize and take pirates, and to bring them to justice; but the further proceedings of the Captain, and of his officers, were left unprovided for. A French ship was seized as a prize during the voyage; and the vessel subsequently proceeded to the Madeira Islands, to Buonavista, and St. Jago, and thence to Madagascar, in search of further spoil. At Anguilla and St. This man, who thus at first affected to be friendly to the pirate, soon showed the extent to which his friendship was to be relied upon.
He was now immediately seized by order of Lord Bellamont, before whom he endeavoured to justify his proceedings, by contending that he had taken none but lawful prizes; but his lordship transmitted an account of the whole transaction to England, requiring that a ship might be sent to convey Kidd home, in order that he might be punished. As soon as Kidd arrived in England, he was sent for, and examined at the bar of the house, with a view to show the guilt of the parties who had been concerned in sending him on the expedition; but nothing arose to criminate any of those distinguished persons.
He was executed with one of his companions, at Execution Dock, on the 23d of May, After he had been tied up to the gallows, the rope broke, and he fell to the ground; but being immediately tied up again, the Ordinary, who had before exhorted him, desired to speak with him once more; and, on this second application, entreated him to make the most careful use of the few further moments thus providentially allotted to him for the final preparation of his soul to meet its important change.
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These exhortations appeared to have the wished-for effect; and he died, professing his charity to all the world, and his hopes of salvation through the merits of his Redeemer. The companion in crime of this malefactor, and his companion also at the gallows, was named Darby Mullins.
He was born in a village in the north of Ireland, about sixteen miles from Londonderry; and having resided with his father, and followed the business of husbandry till he was about eighteen, the old man then died, and the young one went to Dublin: but he had not been long there before he was enticed to go to the West Indies, where he was sold to a planter, with whom he resided four years. He afterwards went to Kingston, where he kept a punch-house, and then proceeding to New York, he married; but at the end of two years his wife dying, he unfortunately fell into company with Kidd, and joined him in his piratical practices.
He was apprehended, with his commander, and, as we have already stated, suffered the extreme penalty of the law with him. T HIS delinquent was a native of Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire, where he was articled to an apothecary. Having served his time, he proceeded to London to complete his studies in surgery, and he then entered the service of Mr.
Randall, a surgeon at Worcester, as an assistant. He was here admired for his extremely amiable character, as well as for the abilities which he possessed; and he married the daughter of his employer, who, however, died in giving birth to her first child.
He subsequently resided with Mr. Dean, a surgeon at Lichfield; and during his employment by that gentleman he became enamoured of his daughter, and would have been married to her, but for the commission of the crime which cost him his life. It would appear that he had become acquainted with a young woman named Elizabeth Price, who had been seduced by an officer in the army, and who supported herself by her skill in needle-work, residing near Mr.
An intimacy subsisted between them, the result of which was the pregnancy of Miss Price; and she repeatedly urged her paramour to marry her. Caddell resisted her importunities for a considerable time, until at last Miss Price, hearing of his paying his addresses to Miss Dean, became more importunate than ever, and threatened, in case of his non-compliance with her wishes, to put an end to all his prospects with that young lady, by discovering everything that had passed between them.